Parenting is a tough business, and everyone has an opinion on how to do it (even if they don’t have children of their own). There can be a lot of criticism from others, and we often wonder if we’re doing a good job.
A while back, in a set of unusual circumstances, my eight-year-old daughter gave me her parenting tips. It was interesting to see life from her perspective and to have some honest feedback on what she thinks is going well and what she would like to see more of.
Parenting Tips From a Child’s Perspective
First on her list was to keep calm. Yes, this can be very difficult, especially on trying days when nothing seems to be going right. However, it is great advice. Take a deep breath, hold it, and breath out slowly. And repeat. Remind yourself that you want to set a good example of how you want your children to act and react. It can be hard, but things always have a much better outcome when you are calm, when the oxygen reaches your brain, and you can think clearly.
Be supportive. Being a child and not feeling that you have the support of your parents puts you in a lonely and uncertain place. If parents aren’t supportive children may feel that they can do no right, and that sets them up for a lifetime of insecurity. Raising a child who is confident starts at home. Of course, you may not support everything they want to do, but choose your guiding words carefully and don’t put up barriers to stop their personal growth.
Give children the freedom of responsibilities. My daughter says that parents do not have to do it all. Give your children age-appropriate chores to do. My daughter recommends sweeping, cleaning the bathroom, and helping in the kitchen. Having children help in the kitchen can take more time and create a bigger mess to clean up, but in the long run it will teach them life skills. Working together to prepare meals also gives you the opportunity to chat and connect, which is important for both of you.
Parenting Tip: You Don’t Have To Do Everything
Finally, she says that parents do not have to do everything. Don’t let life and homeschooling overwhelm you. I know we all try to do our best in every area of life and child-raising, but today, more than ever, this is a near-impossible task for many parents with the multiple hats we wear daily. Working, side-hustles, extra-curricular activities, house work, home education, and other responsibilities, it hardly leaves time to breathe. Try not to stress about everything, pick a different area each day to focus on.
Get help if you are able (including from your significant other and your children). Don’t spread yourself too thin; reduce commitments whenever possible. I find that because home educators are home all day, people tend to think we’re sitting around bored and should have the perfect house and plenty of free time, which is totally not the case. Don’t fall into that trap; put your family first and say no to anything that you need to.
Parenting is a tough business, with long hours and no pay (in fact, we pay a lot for the privilege), and it’s most often a thankless task. But it is the most important job on earth; to raise happy, healthy, and confident children into adulthood. Focus on the positive, work on the negative, and learn as you go along, asking your children for their thoughts, too.
I challenge you to ask your children for their parenting tips and to share them in the comments so we can all learn together.
Check out 30 More Tips to be a Better Parent!
Crystal McClean is a Canadian homeschooling her family in Northern Ireland. Her family loves to learn about culture and they find it fun to do this by reading books, creating activities and recipes as well as attending cultural events when they can. When she isn’t home with her family she’ll be at the writing letters at library, taking photos at the local camera club, or counting wildlife along the loughshore with friends. You can learn more about their adventures at Castle View Academy or follow along via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
I totally agree with the point of being supportive, kids need to feel they are not abandoned even if they do mistakes or go in a direction that the parents don’t agree with.
Support from parents is like a safety net for the child, it reassures the child that even if things go wrong it is not the end, and that’s what removes the stress and allows the kid to focus on his adventure.
Thanks so much for these helpful tips!!
Honestly, Parenting is tough and difficult.
You have shared very interesting tips on how to handle kids.
Keep up the good work!
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improve my parenting skills says
When we think about what Personal empowerment is it comes down to belief in yourself, and follow-through. It’s important because without some degree of personal empowerment, your life will live you.
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Diane Price says
Yes to all of this! Parenting is not a walk in the park, and we can all learn from one another, even from the kids! Thanks for sharing.
Yes! And you’re welcome!
Zoe Campos says
It really helped when you said that we should often remind ourselves of how we can be good examples especially in front of our young children. My husband and I have been thinking that our small, trivial fights have been affecting our parenting method. Maybe it’s time for us to find a coaching professional who can help us communicate with our children better.
Doing parenting as per child’s requirements is basically a good parenting. This is very informative post on this topic.
Lynne Huysamen says
Thank you for these great parenting tips from your daughter! I have to agree that staying calm is essential, however it is also the hardest thing sometimes. I love my kids dearly but I get so frustrated. This is something I am always working on.
I also need to play more with my kids, I find that often I get so caught up in all the things we need to get through in a day that I forget to have fun with my kids. My kids do chores every day but I think perhaps they could start doing more and then I might be more relaxed!
paper writer says
Enjoyed reading through this, very good stuff, thank you.
In love with the tips, Thank you so much for sharing.
Your daughter sounds very mature and thoughtful. I love your idea of asking kids for parenting advise. My 15 year old daughter said to start early teaching responsibility and cleaning up after yourself. Also, minimize the amount of things such as toys that can cause messes. I should mention that she has 6 younger brothers. Haha!
Craig Ervine says
In love with the tips,
Very informative Parenting tips.
Thanks for sharing this content